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When employees matter

We’re your legal partners

Kott Gunning’s Employment Law and Workplace Safety Team deals with all matters affecting the workplace. Acting for clients of all sizes and across all industries, we take the time to understand the complexities and subtleties of each organisation. Our advice spans issues from enterprise bargaining agreements to unfair dismissal claims and disputes to occupational health and safety obligations, including workplace investigations and WorkSafe prosecutions. We act early and proactively in the case of disputes, and we’re thorough and quick to respond when unexpected issues arise.


Led by partner Tim Lethbridge, our team has extensive experience in drafting employment contracts and policies, advising on enterprise bargaining agreements, and managing award disputes and investigations. We’ve represented clients in all the relevant courts and tribunals. Tim is an experienced litigator and also advises on OH&S matters.

Partner Elise Croft is experienced in negotiations relating to executive employment issues and in drafting and advising upon restraint of trade clauses.  She represents employers and directors throughout the WorkSafe investigation process and defends WorkSafe prosecutions in the Magistrates Court.  Elise regularly represents individuals and businesses in unfair dismissal, general protections and contractual benefits claims.  She has also appeared in the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Partner Ashley Crisp has 30 years’ experience advising and representing large corporations and small businesses spanning OH&S and workplace risk issues, claims and litigation.

Partner Vidal Hockless has extensive litigation experience, providing services to clients in a wide range of industries in relation to OH&S and workplace risk, with particular emphasis on secondary liability exposure and protection.

Partner Stephen Williams has over 25 years’ experience in managing workplace injury claims, from a workers’ compensation and occupational safety and health perspective, including the investigation of serious and fatal accidents. He has a special interest in asbestos related matters.

Associate Katrina Welch has conducted a number of large and complex litigation matters, including a Supreme Court claim for unpaid contractual entitlements in excess of $800,000.

Lawyer Josephine Hart is experienced in advising and managing workplace disputes in Federal and State jurisdictions, particularly in unfair dismissal, general protections and contractual benefits claims. In particular Josephine advises clients with respect to the proposed introduction of new Workplace Health and Safety legislation in Western Australia. She also represents  employers and individuals, during the investigations and prosecutions arising from workplace injuries and accidents, before the Occupational Safety and Health Tribunal. Josephine sits on the Industrial Relations Society of Western Australia committee and is also a member of the Women in Safety WA Network.

The team is a corporate member of the Industrial Foundation for Accident Prevention (IFAP). Tim and Josephine are individual members of the Industrial Relations Society of Western Australia (IRSWA) and the Safety Institute of Australia (SIA).


Kott Gunning’s Employment Law and Workplace Safety Team provides advice to private companies of all sizes, local governments, statutory corporations, not-for-profit organisations, healthcare facilities, sporting organisations and individuals. In particular, we have extensive experience advising the construction, real estate, engineering, resources and building sectors.

Examples of our experience include:

  • Assisting employers with issues relating to repeated poor work performance or allegations of misconduct, discrimination and/or bullying.
  • Advising on existing employment contracts, agreements and policies and also drafting them where required, using internal templates to minimise costs whilst ensuring the documents comply with all relevant workplace laws and place the employer in the most advantageous position possible.
  • Providing advice to employers throughout the process of WorkSafe investigations, and representing directors and employers during compelled WorkSafe interviews.
  • Providing advice to a substantial statutory corporation with respect to the negotiation of its enterprise agreement.
  • Advising a substantial utilities provider with respect to a number of union and employee disputes.
  • Defending WorkSafe prosecutions in the Magistrates Court on behalf of employers across all industries.
  • Advising lessees of commercial property dealing with asbestos-related hazards and risks.
  • Representing large corporate bodies after significant workplace injuries and fatalities.
  • Advising on personal liability of directors and managers arising from the Occupational Health and Safety Act 1984.
  • Acting for a statutory corporation with respect to jurisdictional issues arising from its status as a “trading corporation” (which determines whether it is bound by the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) or the Industrial Relations Act 1979 (WA)).
  • Appearing in the Supreme Court opposing an injunction application for restraint of a former employee who set up a competing business.

What we do

  • Industrial relations audits
  • Employment contracts, agreements and policies
  • Enterprise bargaining and agreements
  • Independent contractor agreements
  • Termination of employment
  • Contractual entitlements and benefits
  • Occupational health and safety
  • Bullying and harassment advice
  • Unfair dismissal claims
  • General protection claims including discrimination